Photo By: Courtesy of Millie Gong
Fifth-grade members of the Bullis Charter School Chess Team show off their first-place trophy from the CalChess State Grade Level Championships.
A team of Bullis Charter School fifth-graders won first place in the CalChess State Grade Level Championships in Pleasanton in December.
Bullis Charter School’s chess program began in the spring of 2011 as an after-school, extracurricular class.
The Chess Team mentor, science and engineering specialist teacher Lynn Reed, didn’t know how to play chess until 2010. She learned to play after her fifth-grade son developed an interest playing with his older cousin.
When Reed agreed to teach an after-school class in 2011, so many students signed up that two sections were needed.
The newly formed charter school team won the Grade Level State Championship in December.
“For many years, teams from Fremont won the State Championship, usually Mission San Jose and sometimes Weibel,” said Salman Azhar, executive director of the Bay Area Chess and vice president of CalChess. “This is a huge achievement (for Bullis Charter), because California is the most competitive region in chess, with the most kids in top 100 lists in most age groups. Bullis Charter’s program started just last year by a teacher who is a chess mom. The BCS team was competing with dynasties that have had programs for decades that spend hundreds of thousand dollars on professional paid coaches and practice events.”
“We are very proud of Mrs. Reed and all of the students on the Chess Team for pursuing their passions and achieving at such a high level,” said Charter School Superintendent/Principal Wanny Hersey.